Kevin Durant

Suns fire Vogel as coach with KD's future remaining uncertain

Phoenix was swept by Minnesota in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

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The Phoenix Suns are looking for a new head coach again.

Phoenix fired Frank Vogel after just one season as head coach, the team announced on Thursday. The decision comes after the No. 6-seeded Suns were swept by the No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

"After a thoughtful review of the season, we concluded that we needed a different head coach for our team," Suns president of basketball operations James Jones said in a statement. "We appreciate Frank's hard work and commitment."

The Suns brought in Vogel, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers to a title in 2020, on a reported five-year, $31 million deal last offseason to replace Monty Williams. Phoenix then went out and acquired three-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal to form a Big Three along with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

But the star-studded Suns didn't come close to reaching their championship aspirations. They finished sixth in the Western Conference at 49-33 as Beal missed 29 regular-season games, Booker missed 14 and Durant missed seven. Phoenix was then swept out of the playoffs by Minnesota, with three of the four first-round losses coming by double figures.

The Suns' ugly playoff exit has sparked speculation over whether their newly-formed, though expensive, Big Three could be broken up this offseason. ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported earlier this week that Phoenix intends to keep the trio together.

As the Suns begin their head-coaching search, they could face competition from a fellow Western Conference contender in the Los Angeles Lakers, who fired Darvin Ham last week following a two-year run. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mike Budenholzer will be a "prominent part" of Phoenix's search. Budenholzer, who led the Milwaukee Bucks past the Suns in the 2021 Finals, has also been linked to the Lakers' gig.

"We are here to win a championship and last season was way below our expectations," Jones continued in his statement. "We will continue to evaluate our operation and make the necessary changes to reach our championship-caliber goals. We all take accountability, and it's my job, along with [CEO Josh Bartelstein] and ownership, to build a championship team."

The Serbian center won the 2023-24 NBA MVP award, marking his third in the last four seasons.
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